Coping with Stress and Subtypes of Burnout Linked To Specific Detrimental Coping Strategies

Coping with stress, burnout and coping strategies

A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE by Jesus Montero-Marin and colleagues from the University of Zaragoza, Spain, suggests that coping with stress and different subtypes of burnout are each related to specific detrimental coping strategies.

The “burnout syndrome” includes the dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism and professional inefficacy that come with work-related stress. The interactions between burnout subtypes and coping strategies are poorly understood.

The study identifies that “overload” burnout — refers to those employees who work toward success until exhaustion — is mainly related to emotional venting. These individuals try to cope with their stress by complaining about the organizational hierarchy at work and may also adopt a negative tone. Venting about their workload is their stress release mechanism.

The “lack of personal development” burnout is mostly linked to an avoidance coping strategy. These workers tend to manage stress by distancing themselves from work, and from what they consider an unrewarding experience; a strategy that may lead to a depersonalization or cynicism.

The “worn-outor “neglect” burnout subtype — are employees who struggle with stress but ultimately choose to neglect their work because of pressures. This burnout subtype is associated with a coping strategy based on the lack of motivation and giving up in the face of stress.

Source: PLoS One, 2014; 9(2):e89090. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089090. eCollection 2014.
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